Australian holidaymakers slack with credit cards

Peter Terlato 9 January 2017

credit card debt

Aussies coughed up $180 million in interest last year.

More than two-fifths of Australians are returning home from holidays with more than just a tan, bogged down with a combined $7.5 billion in credit card debt.

The 2016 Australian Debt Lag Survey, conducted by finder.com.au, found 41% of Aussie travellers arrived home with an average credit card debt of $2,075.

Worryingly, around 44% of Aussies who held credit card debt failed to repay what they owe within a month of returning home.

On average, holidaymakers are taking a little less than six months to pay off these borrowings.

A small proportion (10%) are taking at least 12 months to repay their credit card debt.

Aussies coughed up $180 million in interest last year, 77% more than the $140 million accrued in 2015.

Around 2.6% of holidaymakers were concerned they would never be able to pay off the cost of their trip.

Despite shopping sprees (35%) being the most popular way to blow money while travelling, on average, Aussie women ($2,418) returned home from holidays with less debt than men ($2,934).

However, a greater proportion of men (58%) were quick to pay off what they owed in less than a month, compared with women (53%).

One quarter of Aussies (25%) paid for luxury accommodation on their credit cards, while one fifth (20%) used their credit card to foot the bill at fancy restaurants.

From a generational standpoint, Gen Y (12.2%) were most likely to take more than a year to pay off their travel debts, compared with Gen X (9.5%) and Baby Boomers (6.8%).

Another recent survey found consumers in Asia Pacific (APAC) were taking longer to pay off their household bills, as well as highlighting significant increases in the number of first-time missed payments.

As the new year gets underway, research and compare the top three 0% balance transfer credit cards to help consolidate your post-Christmas debt.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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